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Monday, August 28, 2017

The Church of God International's Take on Racial Tensions in America

Church of God International pastors Bill Watson and Adrian Davis have posted their discussion on "Racial Tensions" in the United States as part of that group's "web chat" series (http://cgi.org/armor-of-god-web-chat/2017/8/26/racial-tensions). The piece was designed to offer some timely commentary on racial divisions across the U.S. in the context of recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere.

First, while Mr. Watson's choice of a black colleague for this discussion is certainly understandable, one wonders why he chose a Canadian pastor over an American one. Was Pastor Bronson James unavailable or unwilling to participate in this discussion?

Second, if you were expecting the pastors to denounce white nationalists, klansmen and racists, you're going to be disappointed with this discussion. Instead, the principals launch into an attack on Barack Obama, whom they characterize as a "Neo-Marxist." For good measure, they talk at some length about folks like George Soros and Saul Alinsky and hint at "nefarious" activities and conspiracies. Pastor Watson alleges that protesters are being paid and trained by these kinds of folks to stir up trouble, and Pastor Davis says that protesters are being "played" by Marxists.

Next, they turn their attention to groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and speculate about how they went wrong. According to Mr. Davis, the oppression of black folks in America is a "false narrative." He goes on to point out that BLM is intent on destroying heteronormative thinking and was founded by lesbians and Marxists. This all apparently made Mr. Watson a little skittish as he felt compelled to declare "I like black people."

When the pair finally turn their attention to Charlottesville, Mr. Watson opens the discussion with a reference to an article that appeared on YourNewsWire.com. Sure, he admits the article "sounds conspiratorial," but then goes on to assert that he believes it. For those who are not familiar with this site, it should be noted that YourNewsWire.com is cited by most reputable news organizations as a notorious purveyor of fake news and conspiracy theories.

Finally, the pastors warn us against getting caught up in this stuff. They don't want us to unwittingly become involved in bringing down America (apparently the principal agenda of these left-wing groups). They go on to assert that those who are involved in this movement are "drunk and asleep," and that such folks have the potential for causing divisions within the church. Mr. Watson and Mr. Davis want their parishioners to keep their eyes on the Kingdom and follow the Golden Rule.

After listening to this web chat, it occurred to me that Pastor Watson and Pastor Davis would do well to follow their own advice. My suggestion is that they avoid this topic in the future and concentrate on the Kingdom and the Golden Rule. What do you think?

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